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NFL fantasy football: 10 deep sleepers to target

Draft kit | Sleepers | Busts | Breakouts | Bargains | Strategies

 

 

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans: Alright, so my prediction that he'd break out big-time in 2012 didn't happen ... but that's because of injuries (again). But considering what other big-armed, fleet-footed young QBs did last year, I'm even more confident 2013 will be Locker's year.

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Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts: His targets went up as his rookie season went on, and with Andrew Luck pulling the trigger, there's no reason to think the athletic Clemson kid won't have lots of opportunities beginning in Week 1 this year.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Those who haven't seen Pittsburgh play much may wonder why the Steelers and Patriots battled it out for this smallish, injury-prone restricted free agent, but he's a talented pass-catcher who excels with the ball in his hands. With Antonio Brown drawing more attention, 2013 is Sanders' chance to take off.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins: Lamar Miller was drafted a year ago to serve as Reggie Bush's replacement, but Thomas is a banger who's worth stashing in case Miller isn't up to the task.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints: The rugged runner hasn't delivered much in his two seasons with the Saints. Time to step up or spiral down the tubes as another Heisman washout.

Isaiah Pead, RB, St. Louis Rams: The sophomore out of Cincy isn't an every-down back, but that's not why the Rams drafted him. He's potentially a home run hitter along the lines of Reggie Bush or Darren Sproles, who've both shown that a lack of touches doesn't necessarily diminish a RB's ability to put up big fantasy numbers.

Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis Rams: Now if you're partial to a more traditional RB, go with Richardson, the Rams' other second-year runner. He's the thunder to Pead's lightning ... which means he'll likely be St Louis' goal-line hero.

Emmanuel Sanders is the favorite to start opposite Antonio Brown for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013.
Emmanuel Sanders is the favorite to start opposite Antonio Brown for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013. (Paul Spinelli/Associated Press)

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans: I don't embrace the "handcuffs" strategy in every situation, but Tate is a guy who gets a lot of productive touches in Houston's powerful offense even when Arian Foster is healthy.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Indianapolis Colts: He's had lots more downs than ups since Al Davis used the seventh-overall pick on him four years ago, but hear me now, believe me later: Andrew Luck is gonna make a star of this guy.

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cynics say the Bucs taking Mike Glennon in the draft has put the writing on the wall for Freeman, but expect the still-young K-State gunslinger to hold onto the starting gig going into the regular season. Assuming that happens, he'll put up good numbers in a division not exactly built on dominant defenses.

Follow Dave on Twitter @Dameshek.

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